We’re big on architecture and history, but we also like to geek out over the latest developments in technology—from drones that capture breathtaking views of skyscrapers to the Communications-based train control (CBTC) that’s revolutionizing the 100-year-old subway traffic system. Last year, we also joined the GSAPP Incubator at the New Museum, a launchpad dedicated to art, design and technology, which also happens to house a fabrication lab with fun things like 3D printers.
Recently, the Head of Creative at Futurism, Luke Kingma (who also happens to be a Untapped Cities’ contributor), shared the above video with us, which provides an insider look at Voodoo Manufacturing, a Brooklyn-based 3D-printing plant that occupies a 1,800 square-feet industrial space in East Williamsburg.
Voodoo Manufacturing is the world’s first robot-operated 3D printer factory, which uses a high tech robotic arm that can swap out plates in between prints. The automated process can produce anywhere from 1 to 10,000 parts in as fast as 24 hours. As you can imagine, operating a fleet of 160 3D printers is not an easy task. To ensure the operation runs smoothly, the company utilizes a central software platform that allows it to efficiently control and monitor production, while freeing up man power for other essential tasks. In the near future, Voodoo hopes to establish a fully automated 3D printer factory.
“When we talk about bringing manufacturing back to the U.S., this is what it’s going to look like,” said Kingma. “That doesn’t mean we should be worried. If 3D printers and robots are the manufacturers of the future, and if facilities like Voodoo’s can be set up at low cost in our neighborhoods, the sky’s the limit for us. We can be the creators, and the designers, and the sellers, and the owners.”